Mechanistic comparisons among base excision repair glycosylases

M. L. Dodson, R. Stephen Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The mechanisms by which various DNA glycosylases initiate the base excision repair pathways are discussed. Fundamental distinctions are made between "simple glycosylases," that do not form DNA single-strand breaks, and "glycosylases/abasic site lyases," that do form single-strand breaks. Several groupings of BER substrate sites are defined and some interactions between these groupings and glycosylase mechanisms discussed. Two characteristics are proposed to be common among all BER glycosylases: a nucleotide flipping step that serves to expose the scissile glycosyl bond to catalysis, and a glycosylase transition state characterized by substantial tetrahedral character at the base glycosyl atom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-682
Number of pages5
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Base flipping
  • DNA glycosylases
  • Free radical
  • Nucleotide flipping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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